32 answers

Grocery Shopping with Newborn

I have a newborn and a preschool aged child. I know you are not supposed to clip the baby car seat on the front of the cart anymore (a child fell off and died). But how are you supposed to manage grocery shopping? I try to wait until my spouse gets home from work, but it is late in the evening and often hard to leave the house to go due to newborn care, bf, getting dinner finished, getting older child ready for bed, etc. Any advice?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would recommend a Moby wrap or whatever "baby-wearing" device you are comfortable with. I like the Moby wrap best.

6 moms found this helpful

Wear the baby. I wore DD in the Bjorn most of the time when she was that small and I couldn't put her in the basket of the cart or had to do more than I could with just a stroller and a hand basket. Newborns are very wearable.

3 moms found this helpful

I just put my babies in the snugli.
That was like a baby bjorn to us old school mamas :)
But yes, I would also often shop late at night at the grocery store, all alone, no kids, no crowds, it was worth it! Prepare a dinner in the crock pot, put baby down and daddy can get the older one ready for bed.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would recommend a Moby wrap or whatever "baby-wearing" device you are comfortable with. I like the Moby wrap best.

6 moms found this helpful

Out of the millions of newborn babies in our country who have ever been in the front of a shopping cart in their baby carriers, I'd say one child falling off and dying is not huge odds. You're more likely to be hit by lightning or win the lottery than have your baby fall off a shopping cart and die. I would routinely clip the baby seat into the shopping cart and never once had a problem? If it works for you, do it. Just use common sense about it and once your baby is big enough to sit up, start using the seat part of the cart instead.

6 moms found this helpful

I currently have a 3yo and a newborn. I try to get everything done during the week so my weekends are free to spend with hubby and the kids. I wear my newborn in an Ergo carrier which he loves. I just make sure he is fed before we leave the house. He usually sleeps the entire time. My 3yo either walks or rides in one of the carts with the car on the front. She's very well behaved and isn't crazy at the store. There's no way I would put a car seat on top of the grocery cart. It makes me cringe every time I see it.

5 moms found this helpful

Put the baby in a sling or Moby wrap! Not only do you not have to worry about the car seat falling off, you don't have to worry about adoring strangers cooing and blowing germs in your baby's face!

5 moms found this helpful

Try a baby carrier or sling for the newborn.

5 moms found this helpful

Baby carrier or sling - I love the ERGO. :)

4 moms found this helpful

I loved using my Moby Wrap! That thing was a blessing. Or you can push a stroller and pull your shopping cart behind you (make sure the cart is still facing forward- it will not work if you try to pull it by the handle!) This sounds complicated, but once you get going with it, it really isn't that difficult to master. My sister in law would do this with her 4 year old and toddler twins if the cart wasn't a double seater. Good luck!

Added: If you need specific advice on how to pull the cart, pm me and I will lay it out step by step. I think it sounds a lot more complicated then it really is.

3 moms found this helpful

I always put the baby in a sling.

3 moms found this helpful

Wear the baby. I wore DD in the Bjorn most of the time when she was that small and I couldn't put her in the basket of the cart or had to do more than I could with just a stroller and a hand basket. Newborns are very wearable.

3 moms found this helpful

I just put my babies in the snugli.
That was like a baby bjorn to us old school mamas :)
But yes, I would also often shop late at night at the grocery store, all alone, no kids, no crowds, it was worth it! Prepare a dinner in the crock pot, put baby down and daddy can get the older one ready for bed.

3 moms found this helpful

A baby sling works great for grocery shopping. But also, if one child fell off and died, and now no one is supposed to clip the infant seat to the cart... well, that might be a bit extreme. You can probably still do it - just make sure you clip the seat securely and stay near the cart.

3 moms found this helpful

Do you have a Beco carrier or a Baby Bjorn? That is how I shopped, and it was wonderful. Any infant-approved baby carrier will make shopping so much easier.

3 moms found this helpful

Ditto what Catherine C said.

Also, is Peapod available in your area? A few of the grocery stores out here offer a service where you can buy your groceries online, and you can pick them up at the store. I think even Walgreens has a program like this now. I used the grocery express service at Meijer (supermarket) several tiimes to help me survive those first few months. It was well worth the extra $7.

2 moms found this helpful

You have to think thru the advice to see if it fits you. A newborn is not going to be moving around to cause the seat to slide off. I'd put the car seat on the cart and test it to know it's secure.

2 moms found this helpful

I always put the newborn in the ring sling and the older one in the seat of the shopping cart or walking with me depending on how old they were. Once the youngest was old enough I put them in the shopping cart seat with one of those padded covers or continued to carry them in the sling.
Because all 3 of my kids were used to being taken out of the seat whenever we got somewere I did not have the problem of them waking up and if they did it was only for a brief moment and all I'd have to do is rock and shush them a little bit in the sling and they'd go right back to sleep. I could nurse them and continue to shop after some practice.

We never used an infant carseat with any of our children. We used a convertable carseat that stayed in the car at all times. My opinion is they are carseats not carriers, they should stay in the car. If you need to take them somewhere, take them out and put them in a sling or stroller.

2 moms found this helpful

I have three boys who are 5, 4 and 1 and I have few options to get shopping done without them since we have no family around. I seek out stores that make it easier for me. Grocery stores with the "cars" in the front of the cart work well. I usually wear the baby so they are protected from friendly strangers. My two older boys go in the front and my now 18-month-old goes in the seat. We go in, get exactly what we need and leave. At our Target there are now options for ones with seats that are behind the cart too. The key for me is to keep it short and sweet, get exactly what you need and get out of there. When our trip needs to be longer or my boys have been very good, they may get to pick out a treat to bring home, such as a favorite snack or a treat for after dinner. I just leave those off my list and as long as they behave, their treat goes into our cart. About once a month I try to go out with no kids, but our schedule doesn't always allow for it. Try Amazon Mom too - it ships things directly to your door and I definitely use it a lot more when I have a newborn in the house. Hang in there - it gets easier when they understand consequences and rewards for behavior.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with Catherine c.

And for the record...before car seats clipped to the carts my mom had my sister, a newborn in the 70's, in a shopping cart and she fell out. Thankfully my sister did not get hurt...but seriously what's next. You can't go shopping at all anymore.

I personally would just make sure the seat is secure and I stayed in front of my cart.

2 moms found this helpful

Newborn worn in a front carrier, preschool child in the cart seat strapped in. That way both children are safe

2 moms found this helpful

I used a baby carrier also for quick weekly trips. With older child in cart.

I tried to plan my "big" monthly trips to stock up on stuff we used regularly for when I could go by myself and fill the cart to overflowing.

2 moms found this helpful

Just the other week, we had a 12-18 month old fall out of the shopping cart (I work at Wal-mart). He was sitting up in the front of the cart. His mom had just set him back in there so she could pay (He had been throwing a fit so she was holding him while the cashier rang her items through, and set him back in there to pay quick.). He flung himself backwards and toppled out of the cart. Thankfully, he was not hurt.

My point is, out of all of kids who have came through my line in the past 3 years who have been sitting in that top part of the cart he is first one who has fallen out. I still put my son in that top part, I just make sure to keep a REALLY close eye on him.

2 moms found this helpful

I have never seen anyone do anything except put the carrier on the top of the cart. The car seats have clips underneath that attach to the cart. If the car seat is attached to the cart it shouldn't come off.

Otherwise just sit the infant carrier in the cart in the bottom section and buy just a few things every day. Then do the big shopping on a day hubby can go with and push an extra cart.

1 mom found this helpful

I wear my baby in a fitted sling I got from slinglings.com and I love it. My son just turned 4 a few days ago so it was convenient putting him in the cart seat when I knew he would be all over the store of I didn't and I had my baby daughter 'on' me. Plus, babies love being in the sling and close to mom. I recommend having 2... For diaper bag, car and or home.

1 mom found this helpful

I have an Infantino baby carrier and I love it for grocery shopping. My baby breast feeds so when she gets hungry, I can breast feed her while she is in the carrier as well. I wear a sweater and use it to "conceal" the sides so nobody can see anything. The last time I went grocery shopping was 2 weeks ago and a lot of people commented on the sleeping baby tucked inside of my sweater but nobody knew she was even nursing. And with a newborn, feed the baby well before leaving for the store. Good luck and yes, putting baby on top of the cart while in the car seat is dangerous. I used to do it until I saw the news clip about that poor baby who died. So tragic but very avoidable.

1 mom found this helpful

I clipped all mine. If the cart and/or seat don't fall over, there is no risk. A car accident is WAY more likely than a cart death. I also wore the babies in a chest carrier sometimes but it was kind of hard to function. As of two years old my kids were well disciplined enough to walk with my cart so I'd have room for groceries in the cart. I've never had the option of not bringing the kids on errands. Now my oldest is six and my youngest is 2 1/2. No more kids in the cart, and I've been taking kids to the store EVERY WEEK for six years. We're old pros. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Wear the baby! That is the easiest option and they're close to you so usually they just sleep the whole time. Or, just clip in the carseat and make sure the clip is actually latched in there and you don't unbuckle them. I did that all the time with my first and he never fell out. My second, I just put him in my maya wrap and wore him everywhere. or i've seen people set the carseat inside the cart. granted this limits the number of things you can put in the cart, but whatever works!

1 mom found this helpful

I wore my son everywhere for the first 15+mos, including grocery shopping. Now that he's 3+yo, he goes in the Eagles' Nest for playing while I shop. I would wear one and put the oldest in EN, or, wear one and put the other in the seated area with belt. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Should we "clip" the car seat to the top of the cart? No. Do I do it? Yes. It doesn't really "clip" in, like it does on your car seat base, and that is the problem. It's really just resting on the shopping cart. I'm careful, and I never leave my baby alone when I put him there.
I don't always do that though. I have been known to put him in the big part of the cart, my three year old in the seat, and take an additional cart for groceries. Pain in the butt yes, but if I know my toddler will distract me, I'd rather be safer.
I do have a Boba wrap though, which is amazing, and if I think ahead, I use that and all problems solved.

1 mom found this helpful

when we had a new born and a toddler I made many many trips to the grocery store at weird hours. like 10:30 at night. amazing how many other tired moms you would see lol. but on the upside I got amazing service as the store was pretty much empty. no screaming kids, the only down side is that is when they stock shelves so sometimes ahve to leave the cart at the end of an isle

1 mom found this helpful

I used my carseat, just made sure it was always secure. Once he got bigger I needed to think outside the box. my husband works long hours so usually my 3 yr old and 18 month old tag along, everywhere. I have a sams club and Walmart almost next to each other. So I do my sams club shopping first, drop it off at the van, and walk to walmart with the sams club cart. I love it because there are 2 seats up front, and way bigger basket part. When my kids were babies I would also bring the cart cover and lay my son in that and let my older son sit in the big part. I also usually grab 2 baskets and put them under the cart. I use one for my fresh produce and one for jars and canned goods. There have been times were my boys are sleeping so I lay them in the big part together (I always keep blankets in the van), cover them up and use the baskets for underneath, and try keeping as much out of the big part as possible.
Then once I'm done shopping I walk back over to Sams club where I park, unload and return the cart. :) No one ever said anything, and tons of people ask me "Where did you get the 2 seater? I didnt know they had them!"
Otherwise What I do if It's not a huge shopping I use my double stroller and I have those mommy hooks. I bring in my own nice 31 bags, and fill um up and go through the checkout and have them put them back into my bags. Works like a charm.

1 mom found this helpful

I would put my preschooler in the cart and the baby in a baby carrier-I used a sling for the first few months and then switched to an Ergo as he got stronger. Now he is two and I still put him in it to shop just on my back now. So easy!

I have three and would have my oldest walk but he's 9 my younger two are 4 and 2.

I agree with everyone to use a baby carrier. I used one for both my kids and saved me so much trouble. I even have put one kid on my front and one on my back, now that is not very comfortable but for something quick it can work. But mostly I put my older child in a stroller or had her walk and put my son in a carrier on my body. Now that they are getting older it is so much easier. But keeping the baby in a sling is what I would recommend. I am a single Mom and have no one coming home to relieve me, my kids are with me every minute of every day. And I am fine with that, but it does take some thinking about what to do in certain situations as they are always with me. It can be done and done safely.

I would put your preschool child in the front and newborn in a carrier. The carrier does get a little heavy when they are older though.

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